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A few years ago my husband got sick of me always borrowing his headphones, so he gave me my own pair. Even though we were quite happy with these earphones, over the past year or so the cheap material covering the ear pads starting coming off. It got to the point that neither of us were using them anymore because we’d get all these little bits of crud stuck to us every time. I didn’t see any reason why we should buy new headphones seeing as they still worked perfectly well, so I decided to find a solution to my flaking headphone pads.
See all that crumbling gunk around the sides of the ear pads?
It was even worse on the part that comes in contact with the side of your head, because it got rubbed off even more, sticking to my hair and skin. Ew!
I only use these headphones while sitting at my computer and working, so I didn’t really care how good they looked. And one day, when my kids asked if I could cut off the toe of an old pair of stockings for them to do a project, inspiration struck. My old tights could easily cover up the flaking headphone pads without feeling uncomfortable and without muffling the sound!
Are the flaking headphone pads on your favorite listening device driving you nuts? Well, get ready for a super easy way to fix them in just 30 seconds!
- 1 pair of headphones with ruined ear pads
- 1 pair of tights (or a small part of them)
- 2 rubber bands
- sharp scissors (not pictured)
How to cover those flaking headphone pads:
Grab a pair of clean tights or other stockings that you don’t use anymore (mine were ripped) and cut off one toe. If the toe is ruined or unavailable, you can cut off another part of the stockings instead.
- Cut along the folded edges of the flattened toe so that you have two pieces.
- Trim off the toe seam and the corners to make two circles. They don’t have to be perfect.
- Place one circle over one headphone ear pad and slip the elastic (doubled or tripled over, if necessary) around it to hold it in place. Pull the edges of the circle until it is taut over the headphone. Repeat with the second ear.
- Trim off any particularly long bits of stocking sticking out beyond the elastic, though don’t cut too close or it could slip out.
Wasn’t that about the most ridiculously easy fix ever? Sure, they’re not the most gorgeous headphones ever, but I really don’t care because now I can wear them without it looking like I have giant-sized dandruff afterwards!
I can hear through the stockings just as well as I could without them! Which means I can jam and rock all I want while doing brain-numbing computer work!
And, seeing as we’re talking about music, I hope everyone noticed my tutorial-appropriate t-shirt. It is both music-related and repurposing-related (read my tutorial on how I sized down a big men’s T-shirt to a women’s sized shirt here!) It makes me so sad that my kids don’t understand what that big golden cassette tape is on it!
If you like this tutorial using reclaimed materials for fixing flaking headphone pads, head on over to see the rest of my awesome repurposing tutorials! You’ll be surprised at how many incredible things you can make using the “trash” that you already have in your home!
Make sure you Pin this idea here!
25 thoughts on “Quick 30-second fix for flaking headphone pads”
So, so clever, Lisa. I threw out a good pair of headphones for the very same reason. Given they weren’t cheap, I was not impressed at how they had deteriorated. Ha, ha… if only I’d seen your post first.
Mine weren’t top of the line headphones, but they weren’t super cheapies, either. It was the principle more than anything that bothered me, that a good brand would use such junky materials. I was determined to find a way to keep using them! Thanks for stopping in, Pam!
Hi Lisa. You are a gem! This is such a simple solution 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve included your idea in our latest Top 10 in Craft https://craftylikegranny.com/3ps-for-craft/ Cheers Jodie 🙂
Thank you, Jodie! I’m so glad that you like this idea! It truly is a simple solution and I hope that it can help others! And thank you so much for including it in your post! I’m off to check it out! 🙂
How smart you are! I never thought of this. I threw out the earphones instead. Luckily they weren’t expensive but the new ones are. Greatly appreciated.
How very smart Lisa! I never thought of a solution but to through the unsightly and most important, the comfort over the ears. What a world we’re now in. Pay, but don’t expect quality.
Thank you, I will use this ingenious idea as my new expensive earphones are also an inferior quality. However the sound is the best.
Exactly. If I pay just a little for something, I can expect it to be crap quality, but when you pay extra to get something more quality and it breaks not too long afterwards anyway, it’s just so frustrating! I hope that this trick helps you with your new headphones!
What a clever idea Lisa!! I have the same problem and now I can fix it, thanks for sharing!!
Oh, I’m so glad that this trick will be useful for you, too, Nuria! What is up with all the flaking headphone pads out there?! Geez!
This was just what I needed to do. You are awesome for sharing this. Thank you so much!
I continue to use these headphones almost daily a year afterwards. The only thing that has happened is one elastic snapped. I just put a new one on, and I was good to go!
Thanks for writing this!
I took my old Sennheiser headphones after not using them for like 4 years or so, and the pads are crumbling all over me. While I ordered replacement pads of higher quality, it will take a while for them to get here. I had a thought to wrap them in cloth of some kind but I don’t really know how to work with such materials, and then I found this post, and I’m going to follow your example and do “the fix” 🙂
That’s great! It is a great way to do a temporary fix until your new ones get here!
3 years after your original post and thank you.
Same situation, mid level headset that’s just fine besides this. Mine are black which was great having all that crap stuck to my ear and neck when I went to the grocery store, came home and my wife said What is all over your head?!
Appreciate the simple yet easy and effective fix.
Haha! Oh, Shawn, believe me, I feel your pain because the same thing happened to me! I’m so glad that this is a help to you!
This is a great idea — I’m going to try it this afternoon!
Now if you could come up with something equally as brilliant for some of my cords that are turning sticky…..
Oh dear, I’ve run into that many times myself! Is it just one section of the cord, or the whole thing? If it’s just a section, you can wrap a little bit of washi tape or colored electrical tape around that part. It won’t be flexible in that point, but if it’s just one small section, it’s not an issue. Let me know if you find a solution!
This is a great idea. I was on the computer till late last night with my headphones on and just turned everything off and went to bed. Got up this morning and went in the bathroom…, WHAT THE HELL?!
Then I remembered this happened about 15 years back to a very nice $300 pair of Sony open air headphones also.
I think since it seems to be kind of a random problem, not really effecting everybody, it must have something to do with the oil on some peoples skin.
You see this same problem with some people and their steering wheel, it starts falling apart where they always hold it.
So I don’t really think it’s a matter of cheap material but more about something in the oil on our skin. Not that we are dirty, it’s just rather corrosive for some reason.
That’s interesting, that it might happen due to skin oil. I hadn’t thought of that. But not matter what causes it, it’s annoying, right?!
Just what I have been looking for. I hate having pieces of peeling faux leather stuck to my ears after a gaming session. 😀 This solves it perfectly, quickly, and effortlessly. Thank you!
Haha! I used to have those bits of peeled faux leather stuck to my ears, too! I’m so glad that this helped you solve the problem right here, right now!
Im so glad that I found this post before i throw away my headphone and spend my money on another. This is so helpful and im sure the same for many more. Thank you.
Hooray! I’m so glad to hear it!
All comments seem from the same person. I wonder how much the audio quality degrades due to the cloth.
I’m not sure why you think that all the comments are from the same person. I just looked them over and there’s just one comment posted twice, surely due to some glitch during the publishing process. Anyway, regular tights fabric is very thin and with a wide knit, which then gets stretched open even further. It’s not any thicker than the fabric that is already used in headphones.